Farmer’s Markets Reopen for Summer Season
Fresh produce from Farmer’s markets are a sweet taste of the Sacramento community, especially in the hot summer months.
Farmer’s markets are about to kick off the summer season with a colorful array of favorite fruits and vegetables, flowers and produce. Though flocks of people may arrive in shorts and skirts, by bicycle or walking under the city’s famous trees, Sacramento farmer’s markets supply local produce year-round.
Dan Best, coordinator of Certified Farmers’ Markets of Sacramento, said there is a significant jump in attendance during the summer.
"It’s because people are starting to buy more hand and mouth kind of fruit, like peaches," he said. "I think people who shop in the winter probably do the most actual cooking with raw ingredients rather than buying something that’s prepared. The people that shop in the winter are hardcore foodies who actually want to create their own meals from scratch, from ingredients directly from the grower. In the summer months, we get the people who add to that group but are looking for something to do and something extra to go with the barbecue."
Among the already-existing farmer’s markets, Oak Park will unveil a new one.
"Oak Park is considered a food desert, so per capita there’s more liquor stores and fast food restaurants than there are grocery stores," said Joany Titherington, Oak Park Farmer’s Market manager. "The goal is to create a point of access for a community that hasn’t had access to healthy fruits and vegetables."
Titherington said she hopes 2,500 people from Oak Park and its surrounding areas will attend the market weekly. She added that farmer’s markets near Oak Park do not accept WIC or EBT food stamp cards, and that has disabled access to healthier food. Oak Park’s market will accept these programs and cards.
"One morning I was walking my dog, and I saw a kid at a bus stop sharing hot Cheetohs with other kids. That was breakfast," she said. "We need to change that. It’s the first time in history that people are not expected to live as long as their parents, and that’s a huge issue. It’s a working-class neighborhood, and access to fruits and vegetables is really important."
Davis farmer Nick Atallah has been selling at the Sacramento Central Farmer’s Market, located at Eighth and W streets, for 22 years. He said that spring has shown a great boost in attendance.
"There’s not more in the summer, it’s now. In spring," Atallah said. "I see crowds here, even this year, I see crowds I have never seen before."
Farmer’s markets run six days per week across Sacramento.
"(Sacramento benefits) by the direct link to their food source," Best said. "And by supporting our surrounding agricultural supply and make sure we have a local source of food.
"Sacramento’s kind of in a nestle where we can reach out to farmers in a lot of different areas: the mountains, the coasts, down in the valley, then up north. It’s one of those great things to have, and Sacramento has the ability to come together for the mutual benefit."
Local farmer’s markets listed by day:
Sunrise Station in the light rail parking lot at Folsom and Sunrise blvds. 8 a.m. – noon, year-round.
Country Club Plaza in the Butano Drive parking lot at Watt and El Camino 8 a.m. – noon, year-round.
Laguna Gateway Center in front of Petsmart at Laguna and Big Horn Blvds. 8 a.m. to noon, year-round.
Oak Park at Triangular Lot, 3425 Broadway, Broadway and 35th Street, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., opens May 15.
Del Paso Heights at Norwood Ave. and San Juan Road, 7:30 a.m. to noon, opens June 5.
Central Park at 4th and C Streets in Davis. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round.
State Parking Lot under the freeway at Eighth and W streets, 8 a.m. – noon, year-round.
Roosevelt Park at Ninth and P streets, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., opens May 4.
Fremont Park at 16th and P streets, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., opens May 4.
Chavez Plaza at 10th and J streets, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., opens May 5.
Elk Grove Regional Park next to Pavilion at Elk Grove and Florin roads, 4-7 p.m., opens May 12.
East Quad Farmer’s Market located at UC Davis’ East Quad, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., opens March 31.
Florin Sears Store in the front parking lot at Florin Road and 65th Street, 8 a.m. – noon, year-round.
Downtown Plaza between Macy’s and Holiday Inn, Fourth and K streets, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., opens May 6.
Kaiser Permanente at Cottage Way and Morse Ave., 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., opens June 5.
Farmer’s markets outside of Sacramento can be found at CaFarmersMarkets.com.
Agnus-Dei Farrant is an intern for The Sacramento Press.